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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
90,950 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. many say disable (1 reports)
1998 Chevrolet Cavalier brakes problems

brakes problem

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1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 062010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


I tried to stop on a snowy road about 50 feet away from the intersection, traveling about 35 MPH. The ABS brakes did not engage at all and there was no slowdown at all. I was at the car's mercy and would have loved for the brakes to have even locked up completely. Then I would have stopped before the accident. I drove right into the "t" intersection of a busy road and T-boned a car, causing my air bag to deploy and sending the other vehicle into a spin. They hit a telephone pole and were injured.

Shame on Chevy for creating a crappy braking system that is dangerous. It sounds like many others have had this issue as well. I will NEVER buy a GM car again!

- Dave H., Kalamazoo, MI, US

problem #6

Jan 011998

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles

Thought I was too hard on the pedal at first. Car 'n Driver, or some magazine like that, gave it a great brake review in 1998. True---it stops very well on dry pavement. Get it on wet or icy streets and it locks up and skids. I almost went through two intersections. Thought maybe the tire compound wasn't good for wet weather, but after replacing the tires, it's the same. Dangerous.

- Marvin R., Tigard, OR, US

problem #5

Oct 302010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,411 miles

Same problem as everybody else with the breaks. Slow stop, skidding stop, forever to stop on ice. Brakes lock up. Makes strange noise when braking when driving slow. Wanted to give this car to my daughter, but won't be able to until this break problem is rectified.

- Karen Y., Camrose, Alberta, canada

problem #4

Oct 242009

Cavalier RS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


click to see larger images

abs very sensitive, almost impossible to stop wet or snow

This car has the worst brakes I have ever encountered. If you would like to be able to stop when you please simply do not drive this car when snowing, raining, or any ice on the road.

Once you need to stop, it will simply be too late.

- Robert S., Woodbury, MN, US

problem #3

Jun 152007

Cavalier 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Braking on wet pavement and ice was awful. I had to drive so slow on either one, for fear that I would run a red light because the braking wouldn't be effective. I finally replaced my cavalier with my Honda Civic and it works much better. The cavalier was awesome for gas mileage (got around 45 mpg on the highway) but the braking was scary. We almost ran into a couple of cars when it was just sprinkling out on the pavement.

- haleyalexis, Seward, AK, US

problem #2

Jan 102008

Cavalier 4 DR 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

My 1998 Cavalier overall has been a great car with the exception of its brakes. The brakes on this car really suck in the winter. The ABS light comes on all the time and it seems like you are sliding when braking. Also when I accelerate the low trax light always comes on. All this with brand new tires. This is definitely NOT a winter car. Other than the brake problems it has been a very good car. I have over 160,000 miles and have had to put very little money into the car except for the brakes!! I bought this car brand new and initially didn't seem to have the brake problems.

- Mark A., Sandstone, MN, US

problem #1

Dec 011999


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I have never driven a car so hard to stop if wet or snow. ABS comes on but car keeps going going going. My father in law bought it new, an I remember he asked me about the clunking noise, soon after after he bought it. It had 27000 miles on it a few years ago and first time I was on snow, it would not stop, ABS pumping ka-klunk-klunk-klunk, car just rolling and rolling. Had complete brake over haul at dealer at 30000 mile, that never fixed it. My son was on wet pavement today, some car up ahead came to a sudden stop, this car had no problem on the wet pavement, my son said car took forever to stop and then hit car in front. No damage to car in front but Cavalier has now major damage. Brand new Michelin's on the Cavalier, less than 10,000 miles since brake job a dealer. We only use Cavalier as if it were a bicycle to go store local stores a low speeds, and try not to drive when it rains. I can't believe there has not been a recall on this abs problem, and I am reading some owners have pulled their abs fuse to disable and report they can finally stop on snow, etc.without gliding for ever like no brakes.

- C C., Prairie Village, KS, US

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